F. P. Journe
Octa Lune | 38mm | platinum
This F.P. Journe Octa Lune was amongst the first 75 pieces to leave the manufacture, combining some of the most distinctive features of early pieces from the watchmaker. Its platinum case and textured, shimmery gold dial elegantly complement one another.
The Dawn of Montres Journe
Prior to launching his own brand, Francois-Paul Journe had already proven his skill as a talented watchmaker. Having spent time restoring clocks and pocket watches from the likes of Janvier and Breguet, he had also completed complex commissions for Asprey and Cartier, among others. In his own time, the young watchmaker had also already assembled a pocket watch integrating a tourbillon, by following the writings of George Daniels, as well as a handful of prototype wristwatches integrating a tourbillon and remontoir d’égalité systems. However, Journe had not yet established his own brand, lacking the capital to do so.
One day, while out to lunch, his friend Camille Berthet suggested a subscription model. The idea was simple. A few trusting clients would have put the money forward for a watch that was yet to be made. In exchange for this good faith, they would receive a 50% reduction on its retail value, allowing the watchmaker to raise just enough money to start the production of pieces under his own eponymous brand. The project behind the Souscription Tourbillon was born, with twenty close clients and friends of the watchmaker committing a deposit, sight unseen. These early wristwatches became the foundation of the F.P. Journe manufacture we know today.
The Octa Lune
The Octa movement was introduced in 2001, becoming the third ever caliber developed by François-Paul Journe, following the Tourbillon Souverain and the Chronomètre à Résonance. It was also the first automatic mechanism designed by the brand, which would go on to power a range of different complicated watches. The Octa Réserve de Marche and the Octa Lune were the first two to be released, marking the manufacture's first steps into automatic pieces.
Two years after the movement was first developed, F.P. Journe introduced the Octa Lune, which was produced between 2003 and 2014, with less than 800 cases believed to have left the manufacture. For the first two years, the movements were made out of brass, before they transitioned to rose gold. This particular example was amongst the first 75 pieces to leave the manufacture, as confirmed by the "07X-03L" serial number on the caseback. This suggests that this Octa Lune was assembled in 2003, with the guarantee card confirming that it was later sold in 2004.
This Octa Lune builds on the aesthetic cues cemented by the Tourbillon Souverain and the Chronomètre à Résonance. The dial integrates a masterful use of asymmetry and empty space, achieving a layout that is both refined and legible. The warm, yellow gold dial is delicately textured, with a separate white guilloché dial displaying the hours and minutes. This vibrant shimmer is only found on the earliest wristwatches from F.P. Journe, with later ones displaying a noticeably more muted surface.
The words "Phases de Lune" are inscribed below the moonphase indicator, following the curvature of the aperture. This is mirrored by the words "Invenit et Fecit", which are found below the power reserve - Latin for "Invented and Made" or more literally "Designed and built by F.P. Journe" - a nod to signing conventions of a century ago. At nine o’clock, a power reserve indicator of 120 hours is also shown. The classic 38mm case is another reminder of this being one of the watchmaker's earliest pieces.
The self-winding F.P. Journe caliber 1300 movement is made from rhodium-plated brass, save for the bi-directional rotor in 22k rose gold. This is a logical choice for many watchmakers, for a rotor with a high karat gold count has a significantly higher mass than other materials such as brass or stainless steel.
It features Côtes de Genève embellishments, constructed with 32 jewels and a shock absorber mechanism. It also integrates a straight-line lever escapement, and monometallic 4-arm balance with 4 timing weights, adjusted to 5 positions. The movement is engraved "Exclusive Power Reserve System" and "Precision Chronometer".
The development of the movement was a prolonged process, with the main task being refining the mainspring to a point where it gave consistent power to the gear train, for as large a proportion of its unwinding as possible. Together with a specialist spring maker, Journe finally settled on a design that was a metre long and 1mm thick. This caliber 1300 also integrates a power reserve of 120 hours, which was still the largest that had ever been put into a wristwatch at the time.
This 38mm F. P. Journe Octa Lune comes on a bespoke anthracite grained leather leather strap with curved ends and corresponding platinum buckle. It's also accompanied by a brown alligator strap, the original inner and outer boxes, and stamped guarantee card from F.P. Journe.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this F.P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.
To find out more about François-Paul Journe and his early pieces, you can read our Collector's Guide to early F.P. Journe.
|Brand:||F. P. Journe|
|Model:||Octa Lune 07X-03L|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic Cal. 1300|
|Functions:||date, moonphase, hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||power-reserve indicator, moonphase display, display-back|
|Crystal:||sapphire front & back|
|Strap:||F.P. Journe alligator strap, bespoke Anthracite grained leather strap|
|Box & papers:||original inner and outer boxes, instruction booklet, F.P. Journe Guarantee Card|
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